Mars presents: a spooktacular digital Halloween

Under the pressure of time and the supply chain, Mars used Acquia to create a scandal.

Like everything in 2020, Halloween will be different. With no Halloween parades in NYC, fewer parties, and in several states across the country, tricks or treatments are strongly discouraged. All of this poses problems for parents and potential party-goers, as well as a giant candy company like Mars Wrigley (think Snickers, M & Ms, and many other brands).

Shubham Mehrish, Mars Vice President of Digital Demand, explained why. In April or May, we were concerned about the longevity of the pandemic. Halloween is a big event for Mars Wrigley. From the United States).

Not just any website

There was not only concern about how Halloween would work with social distance, but also about the possibility that COVID would be abandoned by items like chocolate bars. ‘The work I got is not from the company, but from our technology teams. How can we scan Halloween? Our original concept was very traditional: we built a website, sold Halloween items and bags of candy.

The Halloween scale for a company like Mars Wrigley means that product plans are drafted 18 months in advance; production lines are running in February, so online sales are essential. “But we challenge ourselves. We said we can’t fix Halloween by putting everything online; it should be something that enhances the experience.

Mehrish wanted to digitize the physical Halloween experience, but make it more attractive than a website. To develop it, the company organized a one-week hackathon. “Our agencies and technology partners came up with ideas and in the end, we picked one. We didn’t have much time; we had to start on October 1st because I wanted to extend the Halloween ritual from one day to 30 days. The result: a virtual Halloween experience known as Treat Town.

How the city of treatment works

Treat Town can be tested in the free app or via a browser. Sweets and treats design and create profiles (there are no photos of children in Treat Town; children are encouraged to create their own Halloween avatars. Candy sellers can design and decorate their virtual doors and purchase candy credits on a card. Mars Create the app and decide if anyone in Treat Town can visit your door, or just friends and family, they can even set different reward levels for friends, family, and strangers.

Scammers knock on the virtual door. Partnership with Walmart, Target, and other retailers to redeem the price of sweets online; alternatively, you can generate and use a QR coupon in the store. Finally, there is a donation option. ‘A lot of sweets get lost after Halloween. The way the donation works is that Mars turns the points into cash and hands a check to the Boys and Girls Club of America.

The martech layer

Like current Acquia customers, Mehrish said the decision to use its technology for Treat Town was easy. “Acquia Drupal is our CMS for all our web properties; we made a transformation to update all our web properties on the Acquia platform. This is the mechanism that takes care of a lot of the content you see in the app: everything you see on the landing page, with which you can click on iOS and Android stores, and the content you have in the app. it is – experienced and it is.

To deliver content to different channels, Mars uses a combination of the headless and traditional versions of the CMS offered by Acquia. “In the next version, I want to go completely headless and really switch to architecture-based architecture, but this time it’s a combination. We have found that Acquia offers our additional resources outside of Drupal and that an ecosystem has been built. I’m a CMS. We can stay on the platform for far more use cases than the simple CMS use case. Transformation mechanisms, which change our architecture based on micro-services and tools like Acquia, play an important role in this.

All technologies involved in the experiment are expected to work on a large scale. The credit card API, for example, is Stripe. The Microsoft mechanism behind Minecraft is the mechanism we use, called PlayFab, to detect vulnerabilities. Mapbox is the application for maps and covers. and we need to make sure they can play well together. Disney, Mars’ longtime partner, creatively draws its power from haunted houses.

The Bounteous Digital Solutions Agency was originally designed to work on the creative side of the project. “But we realized there was a need for in-depth integration between the creative and development teams, and that’s why we chose Bounteous for both.” Bounteous had experience working with the other components of the experience.

Treat Town is only in the US this year, but Mehrish expects it to be globalized. “Halloween doesn’t just happen in the United States.”

You can only play Treat Town until the end of October, so there is no time to waste.

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